Waking up this morning a very special someone will be pampered beyond belief. Breakfast in bed, dozens of red roses, chocolates, a fancy meal to cap a wonderful end to a wonderful day, and that person is…Kevin Keegan.
That’s right folks, and in case you have notions that your ‘esteemed’ editor is some sort of psychotic love-sick puppy sending Valentine’s Day gifts to our former manager, never fear. I’ve not gone that far yet.
The overly romantic introduction to this piece is because today is indeed a very special day, but not because of some ancient saint of love, but because it is the birthday of one of Newcastle United’s icons. Yes, Kevin Keegan turns 63 today and we here at the NUFCDaily would like to wish him many happy returns.
As a player, Keegan was one of the finest. 2 times European player of the year, countless winners medals in his back-pocket, and 63 England caps to his name. However, I do not think I am speaking out of turn when I make the statement that I think Keegan’s finest, and happiest times, were his times as a Newcastle United player and manager (the first time anyway). He helped Newcastle United achieve promotion both as a player, and as a manager and has rightly been awarded cult-hero status at our football club. He was a key player in our promotion back to the First Division in 1984 and as a manager, he not only helped us stave off relegation into the third tier of English football, but he also ushered in a new era of Premier League football for Newcastle United back in 1993 before bringing us to the brink of Premier League glory in 1996.
I won’t sully this article by paying too much attention to the defamation that he suffered at the hands of the vermin whose name is above the door at Newcastle United these days, but suffice to say that a man as principled, talented, head-strong and passionate as Kevin Keegan was never going to put up with the chronic lack of ambition, deceit and con artistry that currently emanates from the club. His forced departure in 2008 (proven in a court of law that the club lied and forced him out, look it up apologists before you have a go) was the spark that lead to our relegation from the Premier League – our first relegation since Keegan had brought us there. Bitter irony.
For me, Kevin Keegan epitomises the type of passion, love of the club and principled leadership that is so sadly lacking from Newcastle United today. He is everything Newcastle United should be, while the club currently is everything he is not.
Kevin Keegan will be coming to Dunston on 9th May for an after-dinner discussion which promises to be a magical evening, and I am delighted to say that I will be in attendance.
Now that there is nothing to look forward to from a football perspective, this provides light at the end of the tunnel of this season. An evening with a man who knows exactly what it means to play for, manage and support Newcastle United. Sadly, none of our current batch have a clue.
Hopefully when fans protests groups succeed in their coup d’etat and overthrow Mike Ashley, and we’re all beating at a bronze statue of him with our shoes, we’ll see the sense in making Kevin Keegan Club President of a new and glorious Newcastle United.
One can but dream…